Learn about Chest of Drawers

Until the mid-19th century, the standard chest had either four long, or three long and two short drawers. Rarely were there any exceptions to this rule. A chest with three drawers, or a series of small upper drawers, purporting to be Georgian, will probably have been converted from a chest-on-chest or tallboy. It is true that the 18th century commode often contain two long deep drawers, but this was a much grander and more decorative piece altogether, intended for drawing rooms, not bedrooms, and in any case was usually made to stand on legs. The standard chest of drawers continued to be made throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries (some Edwardian pine chests even had bracket feet), but variations were introduced during the mid-Victorian period, with some chests having seven or more drawers usually a deep hat drawer and smaller glove compartments. Chests with barley-sugar twist or split bobbin-turned supports date from the mid-19th century.
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Napoleon III ormolu mounted ebonised boulle Semainier, c. 1860 white marble overlaid top above three mock drawers forming the fall front and four drawers, the whole inlaid with cut brass on a red tortoiseshell ground, with a shaped apron and bracket feet.

A walnut semainier with Empire Styling serpentine shaped with a mottled cream marble top above a shaped cornice, seven veneer panelled drawers, and quarter panelled sides above an extended plinth base, the chamfered edges surmounted by brass busts, and add

A small demi-lune Empire style mahogany chest, a petite marble topped semainier, with panelled sides and gilt bronze trims in the restrained Empire style raised on long toupie style legs with capped feet. Height 93 cm. Width 58.5 cm. Depth 31.5 cm

A Louis XV style verde marble mounted kingwood and pallisander secretaire semainier chest, French, late 19th century, 127 cm high, 64 cm wide, 35 cm deep

A French Louis XV-style walnut Semainier, circa 1950, a serpentine cream and purple marble top above seven full-width draws each with feather banding within shaped reserves, quarter veneered panels to the sides, with a shaped apron and shaped edges flowing

A Louis XV style Semainier, of tapering serpentine form in walnut, kingwood and satinwood surmounted with a caramel marble top, with seven drawers each with stringing and floral inlay, foliate brass pulls, escutcheons, the sides with herringbone parquetry,

An Austrian figured walnut semainier with cast gilt-metal mounts. Height 159 cm. Width 100 cm

French Louis XV parquetry semainier, approx 138 cm high, 71 cm wide, 36 cm deep

A French 18th century Louis XVI ormolu-mounted kingwood, tulipwood and amaranth semainier, the shaped stepped grey marble top above seven drawers, the canted angles surmounted by a foliate mount, with panelled sides, on bracket feet. Width 63 cm. Depth 40

A French 18th century transitional ormolu-mounted walnut semainier, by Pierre Garnier, Paris, surmounted by a shaped stepped marble top above seven drawers each with a foliate cast escutcheon, on short cabriole legs, stamped under the marble P.Garnier. Wid

A French 18th century Louis XVI ormolu and brass-mounted mahogany semainier, the rectangular white marble top with pierced three-quarter gallery surround, above seven drawers, with fluted angles, on tapering feet and small sabots. Width 80 cm. Depth 42 cm

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